Knitters in public

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It is something generally done in the privacy of your own home, but on June 10, people from throughout Central Otago are invited to out themselves, and say “I am a knitter”.

Earnscleugh knitter Daphne Randle is proud to say she is one. She, along with Tania Irons, of Becks and Rafalso of Becks, are organising Central Otago’s first Knit in Public Day on June 10.

Mrs Randle said the event would be part of a worldwide celebration of the craft.

“It [the day] has never been recognised in Alexandra before,” she said.

The World Wide Knit in Public Day started in 2005, with 25 groups. This year there will be thousands of knitters participating around the globe.

Mrs Randle belongs to an informal, light-hearted and social knitting group of about 15 people.

She said they had been given permission to use four venues as meeting places for knitters on the day, from 10am to 3pm.

Anyone interested in spending time knitting can visit any of the sites for as long as they wanted.

“Anyone can turn up for all or part of the day,” she said.

“We are also inviting men and children, if they want to learn.”

She said knitting had become more popular again, after a period of waning interest.

It was also a useful skill for those who gave up smoking.

“It is something to do with your hands.

“I gave up smoking in the 1980s and have been knitting frantically every since.”

Mrs Randle and Mrs Irons will also be available to teach the basics and will have materials and patterns available so people can knit a small block.

“We have just had the WoolOn event and merino was the hero at that,” Mrs Randle said.

“New Zealand is a wool country and we want to promote it, and make wool more visible.”

Knitters can meet at the Courthouse Cafe, Cafe Rossi (from 10am to 3pm) and Monteiths Brewery Bar (from 11am onwards).

Tally-ho Wool Shop in Roxburgh will also be involved.

Touch Yarns, of Clyde, has donated some 8-ply merino yarn and bamboo knitting needles for people to try.

Mrs Randle said the group had been “outing themselves” every third Monday of the month at Monteiths from 5pm.